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AFC East's best: No. 17 Stevie Johnson

By Tim Graham

SJohnsonMug11A countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...

The choice

Stevie Johnson became the first receiver in Buffalo Bills history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. That doesn't sound all that impressive, but consider that Eric Moulds, Andre Reed, James Lofton, Bill Brooks, Jerry Butler, Frank Lewis, Marlin Briscoe and Elbert Dubenion wore the uniform. Johnson also became the second Bills receiver with at least 75 catches in consecutive seasons.

Johnson was a bit player during his first two seasons because he was buried on the depth chart. But he exploded in 2010 as Ryan Fitzpatrick's go-to guy. Johnson has 158 catches for 2,077 yards and 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Last year, Johnson ranked 18th in the NFL with 76 receptions and 19th with 1,004 yards. ProFootballFocus.com logged him with 132 targets. Only Roddy White, Wes Welker, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Lloyd and Brandon Marshall were targeted more often.

Fast fact

Over the past two seasons, Johnson ranks third in the NFL (behind White and Davone Bess) with 53 third-down receptions.

How acquired

Selected in the seventh round (224th overall) of the 2008 draft.

Hint about No. 16

He's new to the division and one of only three remaining on the list to play for multiple NFL teams.

Picks to date

17. Stevie Johnson, Bills receiver
18. Reggie Bush, Dolphins running back
19. Jerod Mayo, Patriots inside linebacker
20. Randy Starks, Dolphins defensive lineman
21. Sebastian Vollmer, Patriots right tackle
22. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots tight end
23. Marcell Dareus, Bills defensive tackle
24. Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback
25. Eric Wood, Bills center

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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